Staff shortages continue to hit hospitality sector

Study shows hospitality firms are holding back from training opportunities despite benefits to staff retention.

  • Almost two-thirds (62.5%) of hospitality businesses have struggled to retain staff over the past two years
  • While almost 90% of managers in the sector believe that further training investment would help to recruit and retain staff, three-quarters are put off by the perceived time investment for junior team members in particular
  • Yet almost 90% of hospitality employees would be more likely to stay in a role longer if their employer invested in training from the outset

Following the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021 – when employees around the UK left their jobs in record numbers – new research has revealed that almost two-thirds (62.5%) of hospitality businesses say they’ve struggled to retain staff over the past two years.

Yet while almost 90% of hospitality firms believe that further training investment would help with recruitment and retention, 62.5% are put off by the risk that an employee would leave after completing their training. This is despite almost 90%[1] of hospitality employees saying they would be more likely to stay in a role if their employer invested in their training from the outset.

Three-quarters of all hospitality managers surveyed are concerned about the time it takes to upskill new members of staff at junior level in particular. This was particularly due to factors such as the impact this would have on customer service and extra pressure on other members of the team.

Commenting on the research, Jill Whittaker, Managing Director at HIT Training, said: “Since the pandemic began, staff shortages have been rife across a wide range of sectors, culminating in the ‘Great Resignation’ of 2021. Yet while most hospitality businesses see the value in training when it comes to attracting and retaining staff, too many believe they don’t have the time to invest in this. But those continuing to struggle with staff shortages can’t afford not to.

“As well as playing a role in attracting and retaining valuable team members, apprenticeships have always been one of the best ways to unlock skills quickly and fast-track staff into positions where they can make a real impact. New flexible training models under consideration by the Government are set to make this process even quicker. For example, front-loaded training will be invaluable in helping apprentices to hit the ground running and operate efficiently for their employers from the very beginning.”

The study showed that most hospitality businesses are interested in flexible training options, with almost two-thirds of employers saying they would consider front-loaded training to help speed-up the process.

Almost 70% of employees in hospitality would be more willing to start an apprenticeship or training course if they could condense learning into a shorter period.

HIT Training has released a toolkit answering common questions about apprenticeships, with advice on how businesses can maximise them through flexible training options.

To download the toolkit visit:

[1] Survey of 1,000 employees across a range of business sectors conducted by 3GEM and HIT Training (March 2022)